The Nigerian Government emphasises the importance of education as the foundation of social and economic development. This has been reflected in the priority given to the development of the education sector in the nations Transformation Agenda. All children are expected to have access to education through the implementation of the Universal Basic Education programme and comprehensive education reforms.

The Ministry of Education put together a four year education sector strategic plan for the development of the sector from 2011–2015, focusing on six areas of implementation:

  • Strengthening the institutional management
  • Teacher education and development
  • Access and equity
  • Standards and quality assurance
  • Technical and Vocational education and training;
  • Funding and resource utilization.

UNESCO supports Nigeria’s education sector, providing funding and technical assistance to accelerate the nation’s progress towards EFA goals and aligning its resources and strategies behind a shared vision and priorities in education.

In order to establish a plan of action, the UNESCO National Education Sector Strategy (UNESS), 2006-2015, was developed in consultation with government institutions, parastatals, civil societies and other partners, in order to identify strategic areas of technical cooperation and capacity building to achieve the education development and EFA goals in Nigeria. As a result of these consultations, four areas of cooperation between UNESCO and Nigeria were identified:

  • Building learning communities;
  • Developing competences for quality human resources for youth and adults;
  • Strengthening institutional capacity for ownership and sustainability;
  • Advocacy, development coordination and resource mobilization.

The Nigeria/UNESCO Special Plan of Cooperation is currently being used as a platform to forge international partnership in the following pilot projects:

  • Education Sector Analysis, Revitalization of Technical & Vocational Education, Reform of the STI System;
  • UNESCO/P&G Project on Empowerment of Girls and Women through the Use of ICTs in Literacy and Skills Development in Nigeria, Nigeria/UNESCO Project on Revitalizing Adult and Youth Literacy (launched as part of implementing the Report of the Presidential Task Team on Education);
  • UNESCO/Nokia Project on the Use of Mobile Technologies and Teacher Development;
  • Establishment of UNESCO Category 2 Centers at the National Water Resources Institute (Kaduna) and University of Nigeria, Nsukka. UNESCO has given agreement in principle for a third Category 2 Center in Science Policy to be established at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile –Ife.